Lopez could return to the Bulls' rotation over the next few games with Wendell Carter (thumb) set to miss time. Carter was initially expected to miss multiple weeks, but it looks as though his thumb injury is much less serious than initially anticipated. Even so, Lopez could return to seeing minutes in the short-term should Carter miss a handful of games. Coach Jim Boylen indicated earlier in the week that Lopez would move into a decreased role going forward, and that was borne out in Tuesday's game against the Lakers, when Lopez did not see the floor.
Lopez was informed Monday that his minutes will likely be reduced going forward, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. "I'm going to play some different people," coach Jim Boylen said. "He has got pride and he wants to play, but he's all for the team and he understands. You don't always expect guys to be happy with their situation or their minutes or whatever. That's not part of this league. What's part of this league is you have to do what's best for the team. Rolo has always done that." Boylen hasn't exactly been wearing Lopez out as it is, but it looks as though the Bulls will pivot toward more of Wendell Carter, Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis up front. The veteran was not thrilled with the decision at Monday's practice, and it's likely the two sides will continue to work toward a trade at some point before next month's deadline. Lopez, who is averaging 11.7 minutes per game in January, can still be a useful piece, but he doesn't fit in the Bulls' future plans, so the team would likely seek a draft pick or younger player in return.
Lopez had 14 points (5-6 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 3-7 FT), four rebounds, two assists and a block across 23 minutes Friday against Orlando. Lopez served as Chicago's leading contributor off the bench, knocking home his lone 3-point attempt and five of six shots from the field. Bobby Portis (ankle) will be on the shelf for 2-to-4 weeks, so Lopez could be in store for an uptick in playing time. Wendell Carter and Lopez figure to handle the majority of the minutes to be had at center until Portis returns to health.
Lopez managed 11 points (3-7 FG, 5-5 FT), one rebound and two blocks across 28 minutes in the Bulls' 97-91 loss to the Magic on Thursday in Mexico City. Lopez continues to be good for the occasional double-digit scoring effort, although when those will come remains very unpredictable. The 11 year-veteran does serve as an effective safety net behind inconsistent rookie Wendell Carter ,Jr., but his fantasy value is still primarily limited to deeper formats and as a DFS punt play.
Lopez tallied 17 points (8-10 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 1-1 FT), five rebounds, two assists, and one block in 23 minutes during Wednesday's 116-113 loss to the Bucks. Lopez had his best game of the season Wednesday, finishing with 17 points in 23 minutes. He has worked his way into the rotation of late but is still merely a backup. This is likely more of an outlier, and Lopez remains a non-factor in most formats.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||76||360||51.9||1||16.7||90||76.3||812||10.68||1500|